A federal judge named by President Barack Obama did the president who appointed him a favor today by issuing an opinion falsely claiming the Obamacare law will not result in taxpayer funding of abortions.
In an opinion that appeals courts and the Supreme Court could rely on in the future, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black ruled in a case related to an Ohio congressman and the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List over ads it wanted to run in the 20120 elections saying Steve Driehaus voted for abortion funding by virtue of voting for Obamacare. Black sided with Driehaus and also issued an opinion saying Obamacare doesn’t fund abortions.
“Whether it is possible, under contingent circumstances, that at some point in the future, upon the execution of x, y, and z, that the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] would not prevent taxpayer funded abortion is entirely different from providing for ‘tax-payer funded abortion,'” the opinion states. “The express language of the PPACA does not provide for tax-payer funded abortion. That is a fact, and it is clear on its face.”
The organization Democrats for Life of America came under heavy criticism during the debate leading up to Obamacare’s adoption and afterwards for its repeated disproven claims that the government-run health care plan did not fund abortions. DFLA eventually sided with Driehaus in his attacks on SBA, which has cost the pro-life women’s group tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
DFLA sought to exploit the ruling by the Obama-appointed judge as supposedly making its case.
“It was unfortunate that a vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was mischaracterized as a pro-abortion vote and used as a partisan tool to defeat pro-life Democrats, like Steve Dreihaus,'” Kristen Day, DFLA’s director, said in a statement LifeNews received. “”The ruling will not correct the injustices done to good Members, like Steve, but it also vindicates the other pro-life Members who were also unjustly targeted.”
However, John McCormack, a reporter for the Weekly Standard, writes that Black’s ruling is incorrect.
“If Obamacare ever goes into full effect, every federally subsidized health insurance “exchange” must offer at least one policy that covers elective abortions,” he said of the law. “Despite Obamacare’s attempt to “segregate” federal dollars to keep them from paying for abortions, the fact is that individuals may use Obamacare’s federal subsidies to purchase insurance plans that cover elective abortions. That’s a huge change from current law, and it amounts to taxpayer-funding of abortion.”
Pennsylvania became the first state to attempt to fund abortions under Obamacare last July when it announced the Obama Administration announced it would give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program but Pennsylvania officials quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion then-Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.
The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.
“The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com at the time.
New Mexico and Maryland also tried to fund abortions through the program until National Right to Life blew the whistle and the Obama administration was forced to back down.
When Congress passed the government-run health care bill, it did so without any limits on abortion funding and language mandating taxpayer financing of abortion in certain circumstances.
Obama eventually issued a controversial executive order supposedly taking the abortion funding issue off the table.
However, virtually every pro-life group said it would not mitigate the abortion funding because it doesn’t have the effect of law, could be reversed in the future, and because it didn’t tackle much of the abortion funding in the bill. The Obama administration could also ignore the order and not put it in place when the health care law goes into effect.
Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses.
The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.
In fact, Congress has already pushed forward on a bill to remove the abortion funding components from Obamacare.
Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana have passed similar bills that have already been signed into law by governors in those states and several other states are expected to consider legislation in their upcoming legislative sessions. Governors in Oklahoma and Florida vetoed similar legislation but Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill after a previous governor vetoed it.